When the Moon Forgot

Jimmy Liao, Author, Sarah L. Thomson, Adapted by . Little, Brown $17.99 (80p) ISBN 978-0-316-11390-8

A boy discovers a fallen moon in this melancholy, small-format book. After the moon disappears from the sky, factories begin to mass-produce “truckloads of smiling moons,” which are used in all sorts of ways: in one spread, a blue-haired girl waters her moon, a boy spins two on his fingers and a dog wraps his mouth around another. But while the boy and the “real” moon become constant companions, the others are eventually discarded (“People don't seem to love their moons anymore”). Liao's spreads alternately convey cheerfulness, loneliness and desperation, and they are filled with haunting imagery (giant animals, such as a lumbering blue owl peering from an alley, make regular appearances, and the incessantly smiling manufactured moons are unsettling). In the end, the boy, having helped the moon remember itself and its origins, rides it through stormy clouds and into a starry sky, and “from then on the boy's dreams are always filled with moonlight.” A congruent message doesn't fully materialize, but readers should be entranced by Liao's (The Blue Stone ) fanciful, surreal illustrations. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/20/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
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